When to do your Kegels
Make Kegel exercises part of your daily routine. For example:
- Fit in a set of Kegel exercises every time you do a routine task, such as brushing your teeth.
- Do another set after you urinate, to get rid of the last few drops of urine.
- Contract your pelvic floor muscles just before and during any activity that puts pressure on your abdomen, such as sneezing, coughing, laughing or heavy lifting.
When you're having trouble
If you're having trouble doing Kegel exercises, don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Your doctor or other health care provider can give you important feedback so that you learn to isolate and strengthen the correct muscles.
In some cases, biofeedback training might help. In a biofeedback session, your doctor or other health care provider inserts a small probe into your rectum. As you relax and contract your pelvic floor muscles, a monitor will measure and display your pelvic floor activity. Research suggests that biofeedback training is more effective in treating fecal incontinence.
When to expect results
If you do your Kegel exercises regularly, you can expect results — such as less frequent urine leakage — within about a few weeks to a few months. For continued benefits, make Kegel exercises a permanent part of your daily routine.
Aug. 13, 2015
See more In-depth
- Heymen S, et al. Randomized controlled trial shows biofeedback to be superior to pelvic floor exercises for fecal incontinence. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum. 2009;52:1730.
- Rosenbaum TY, et al. The role of pelvic floor physical therapy in the treatment of pelvic and genital pain-related sexual dysfunction. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2008;5:513.
- MacDonald R, et al. Pelvic floor muscle training to improve urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy: A systematic review of effectiveness. British Journal of Urology International. 2007;100:76.
- Hunter KF, et al. Conservative management for postprostatectomy urinary incontinence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001843.pub5/abstract. Accessed July 30, 2015.
- Patient information: Pelvic muscles (Kegel) exercises. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 30, 2015.
- Urinary incontinence in men. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/urologic-disease/urinary-incontinence-in-men/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed July 30, 2015.
- Dorey G, et al. Developing a pelvic floor muscle training regimen for use in a trial intervention. Physiotherapy. 2009;95:199.